Hormonal therapy

Some cancers can respond to medications which affect the levels of hormones in the body, or how well the hormones work. The most common cancers where these drugs are used are in breast cancer (some of which will respond to hormonal blocking treatment, the likelihood of which can be determined by testing the actual tumour for hormone receptors) and prostate cancer.

There are a number of different options available in this class of medication, either as tablets, liquid or injections. These also have differing side effects, although common to most is the overall effect of reduced hormone levels or hormone activity, resulting in a risk of menopausal type symptoms. These can include hot flushes and sweats.

Whether these medications are suitable for a particular patient's cancer, and the possible benefits and specific side effects should be discussed with an oncologist/cancer specialist.